How to draw a Precis Sketch from a photograph

Today I’m going to draw a precis sketch. First I need a photograph. I have a photograph of Lake Taupo that are took from a
lookout from the slopes of Mount Pihanga. Notice the oblique view of the
photograph. I will use the acronym F.D TONKS to help draw the sketch. F.D. TONKS stands for Frame Divisions Title Outline North Point Key and scale. Now my photograph of Lake Taupo was taken from an oblique angle. So therefore
I need to give it a trapezium shaped frame. So I’ll draw trapezium and the reason we
need to do this is to compensate for the fact that some features are further away or other features are going to be a lot closer. So doing this will also require
you to divide your photo up into your foreground, we’ll have our mid ground and we’ll have our background or our horizon. That way we
can draw out precis sketch in perspective. I will give my sketch a
title. I’ll call it a precis sketch of Lake Taupo. Now I want to select the main cultural
the natural features that are shown in the photograph. I will put them in the
key and include the lake native bush roads a bridge the river buildings wetlands oxidation ponds and some of the mountains in the horizon. Now you’ve got
to use appropriate colors for the features. Where possible I will use the
same colors that are used in many topographic maps. For example, water is
blue so in my key I will draw a box, color it in blue. That’s going to be the
lake. Forests, any kind of native forest,
well that’s green. So again … we’ll make that forests … and so on. Now you can see here my
completed key. Now we’re ready to go. Now we’ll start drawing the outline on the
horizon of the mountains behind the lake. We’ve got Mount Tauhara here which I’m
drawing and that is a rhyolitic volcano which is behind the Taupo township. So we’ve got that there sorted … and also there’s kind of like this headland that you
can see in the middle of the lake. We’ll draw that … and now we’ll start drawing the
outline of the lake itself so I’ll get this blue here. Comes around here. Here you go that our outline. And we want our
map to be accurate, so sometimes you got to make a correction. So I’m going back
to draw peninsula over here on the lake because we want the end of it to line up with Mount Tauhara. So we’ll come out like this and now
we’ll draw our cliffs and put this bump here … and the island is going to be over
here more. So that’s much better. Now we’ll add the outline for some of our
other features. So what I’ll do is I will put in my oxidation ponds and I will
also just get a pencil and I’ll just lightly sort of demarcate the area where
the wetlands are going to be separated from the farmland. So I’ll sort of
roughly go around here. I’ll sort that part out later. We also have the river.
There’s a river that comes around here. Like some of it you can’t see in the
photo and we’re going to have a road, which is actually state highway 41 and
there’s actually going to be a bridge that’s going to come over the river and
our road is sort of gonna … go around here like that. There’s also a bit
of scrub land nearby. So well, that’s going to fill in that gap there. We’ve
got some exotic forest I think planted on this side of the road
and there’s a patch of native forest just up here on that side of the river. Okay,
so we’ll just divide that off. Now we’re ready to start coloring in our different features. So first let’s start coloring in our lake … OK now we’re coloring in our forests. Now to finish up coloring in. We’re ready
to get a light green and start shading in our farmland. Now when I compare my
sketch to topographic map I can see that the mountain was actually northeast from
where I was standing. So therefore North must be in this direction so I’ll draw my North Point and then finally now we want to annotate some of the main features. So we’ll go Mount Tauhara, Lake Taupo, Highway 41 …. and so on. and here is my completed sketch. Now if you’re drawing from a bird’s eye view
you want to draw a frame that is the same shape as the photograph that you’re
drawing from. Now in this case the photograph I’m drawing from is 1800 by
1200 pixels. So therefore I will use a ratio to convert to my drawing and I’ll do mine by 18 centimeters by 12 centimeters. Then also for more accuracy,
what you want to do is you want to draw some sort of grid on your photograph. So I’ll
divide my photograph into four. Four quarters. And then I’ll do the same on my
sketch that I’m drawing here. So I’ll likely draw that like this. So you can see I’ve
divided it into four quarters and from here you can go on to draw your sketch.


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